Chapter 27 –Rebekah (remember her name means “ensnarer”)!!! Rebekah!!! Rebekah!!! “Oh WHAT a web we weave when we first begin to deceive.” Rebekah planted this idea into Jacob and it worked. It says in 27:36:
But he said, “Your brother came deceitfully and took your blessing.” Esau said, “Isn’t he rightly named Jacob? He has deceived me these two times: He took my birthright, and now he’s taken my blessing!”
Jacob in Hebrew means “heel holder or deceiver”. So unfortunately, he DEFINITELY was named properly!!! But, God has plans to use Jacob and will change his name.
Esau gave up his birthright in Chapter 25 for a bowl of stew. Now in Chapter 26 we see how Rebekah encourages/helps Jacob receive the blessing that was intended for the oldest son. However, remember that Jacob was her favorite!!! Rebekah knew the customs. She knew the blessing could ONLY be given once. (Remember in verse 34 how Esau bursts out with a loud and bitter cry “Bless ME –me too, my father!!”) And Isaac replied that he had already given head of the family over to Jacob. (Makes me sad for Esau.) Esau was so angry at Jacob that he failed to see his own wrong in giving away the birthright. Although Jacob had been given the birthright from Esau years before, he still needed his father’s blessing to make it binding, and Rebekah KNEW, so I’d say “ensnarer” definitely suited her.
Now that Esau is totally angry, he said in verse 41 that “I will kill my brother Jacob.” Again, Rebekah knew this and encouraged Jacob to go visit her brother LABAN for a while until Esau’s fury subsided.
Abraham wanted to be SURE Isaac married someone from his family so he would not be unequally yoked to another who did not believe in God. Isaac wanted the same for his sons. Remember Noah’s son Ham who mocked his father after finding him lying naked in his tent after an evening of drunkenness? Ham was cursed because he mocked Noah. Ham’s descendants became the Canaanites who were not following the Lord but false gods, we often call them pagans today. Esau SEES how much it bothers Abraham to marry pagans (and at the end of Chapter 26 he marries not one but TWO). He marries more wives (Ishmael’s descendants) but it is too late, he already disobeyed with the first 2.
Rebekah reminds Isaac what a hard time Esau’s wives (Hittites/pagans) have given the!
Chapter 28—Isaac blesses Jacob again and commanded him NOT to marry a Canaanite woman and to take a wife from among Rebekah’s brother, Laban’s daughters. Jacob heads to Laban’s.
Beginning in verse 10 we begin the account of Jacob. We begin with a dream that shows the bridging of Heaven and Earth. WHAT is that bridge? What is the ladder that the angels are on that allows access to the gates of Heaven? It is the Covenant God repeats to Jacob. Re-read 28:10-15. This is what we call today Jacob’s Ladder!!! Isn’t this TOTALLY awesome!!
In Job we read that one of the ways God speaks to people in the Old Testament is through visions and dreams. God is SPEAKING to Jacob. God affirms the Covenant with Jacob (as he did with his father and grandfather) and shows him that there IS a way to heaven. That you CAN get from earth to heaven. JESUS IS THE LADDER. Read that one again… JESUS IS THE LADDER!!! (John 1:51 says: “He then added, “Very truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’ the Son of Man.”) HALLELUJAH!!!
Another important aspect of God’s conversation with Jacob in his dream is that God wants a PERSONAL relationship with each of us. God does NOT have grandchildren… he ONLY has children and this is what is happening to Jacob after this dream. He now has a personal relationship with God. That is why it is so important that each of us knows Jesus Christ personally as our Lord and Savior. THERE IS NO OTHER WAY. IT HAS TO BE PERSONAL. No one else can ask on your behalf (not that they can’t pray for your salvation but you have to make the CHOICE). No one else can do it for you. You can’t earn it. You can’t inherit it. Jesus loves us so much that he wants us to realize our need for HIM and ask HIM in our hearts. Is that not great!! I bet you will never look at Jacob’s ladder in the same way again.
Jacob wakes up and says “SURELY THE LORD IS IN THIS PLACE AND I WAS NOT AWARE OF IT…. This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate to heaven.”
Jacob makes a vow to God saying if God will be with me on this journey … then I will give you a tenth of all you give me!!! Tenth… tithe… ringing any bells???
Chapter 29 – Jacob arrives on Laban’s land. Laban is so happy to see him. However, WHO does Jacob see first … Rachel!!! And… he falls in love with her. Jacob does not have a dowry (yes back in the day men gave a dowry for the wife as well). Therefore, he works seven years for Laban so he can marry her. WHAT does Laban do???? He manipulates the situation, He has a feast for the couple then sneaks in his oldest daughter into Jacob’s tent at night and Jacob thinking it is Rachel sleeps with her. And… then comes the morning!!!! WHOA BABY……Jacob was lying beside LEAH (the oldest sister)!! Jacob asks Laban WHY Laban deceived him? Laban knew he worked seven years to marry Rachel. Laban was quite cunning and said he preferred Leah be with him rather than another. Also it was custom for the older daughter to be married before the younger according to Laban. Was this payback for things Jacob did in the past? I don’t know. But I do know Jacob agreed to work yet ANOTHER seven years for Rachel because “he loved Rachel more than Leah”. What a mess!!
You may be wondering why Jacob did not see that it was Leah at the feast rather than Rachel. Keep in mind that the wedding garments of that era were VERY conservative. There were no strapless dresses or thin veils. These women wore CLOTHES!!! I mean they were covered from head to toe. The veils were so thick NO ONE could see who was behind the veil. PLUS they had JEWELRY galore hanging from the veil, from their neck, from their arms…. It was everywhere!!! So the bottom line… Jacob had NO idea who “was behind those foster grants” (I know some of you may not even know what I am referring to … but some will) 🙂
Are you counting the children being born…there will be 12 boys in all. I will do another entry for today which will show Jacob’s descendants.
One verse that touched my heart is verse 31 “When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved, he opened her womb….” Just think about it… you are the older sister, supposed to get married first but a handsome young man comes along and falls in love with your younger sister who happens to be drop dead gorgeous!! Leah knew Jacob was with her because of her father’s actions. Rachel knew the same. I hate to say it again … but how miserable that would be … doing what your father asks you to do yet neither was happy. One felt unloved… one was growing weary of not being able to have children.
And just think….. this is NOT even a soap opera!!! THIS is real history!!!
Sharing HIS love,